She’s Gone

No this is not a tribute to Hall & Oates, but if you like a palette cleanser before we get going, please enjoy some 70’s Philadelphia soul.

One more thought before I really get into this…. Why hasn’t James Gunn used any Hall & Oates in a Guardians of the Galaxy film yet? Volume III? You know, the one Mark Hamill is going to be cast?

But I digress, this post is the quick reaction to the news of the hour? minute? day?

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If  you managed to ignore social media over the Memorial Day Weekend, congratulations. But this morning, failed National Anthem singer (Kaepernick has done nothing so vile as this), and professional train wreck,  Roseanne Barr tweeted herself into unemployment. I didn’t see the tweet this morning, (helps when you don’t follow her), but I did see plenty of vitriol and calling for ABC to cancel the first #1 rated show they’ve had since *Joanie loved Chachi.

*slight exaggeration

Roseanne tweeted about one of former President Barack Obama’s senior advisers as the offspring of the “Muslim Brotherhood & Planet of the Apes.” This attack on Valerie Jarrett was so unexpected, and yet it wasn’t. She immediately attempted to apologize, when it was brought to her attention that she was flat out racist. In the end, ABC must have decided she would lose them more money than they were making with her. That is clearly what the NFL would have decided.

I watched the pilot episode in the rebooted 2018 season. It had tremendous buzz the following day as Roseanne played a voice of the disenfranchised middle American who was upset with the way Washington DC has neglected the middle class. It showed family repercussions that have been left in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. It introduced new characters including her gender fluid and questioning grandson, which continues Roseanne’s groundbreaking commitment to telling stories of the LGBTQ community. The show was interesting, highly rated and even President Trump found time to watch it. I didn’t really watch it in the 80’s or 90’s so I wasn’t drawn to the storytelling or nostalgia.

The sad part is that within three minutes I was concerned about the cast and crew that were preparing to work on the upcoming season. For some this was their return to television after long gaps in their IMDB.com. Laurie Metcalf just earned an Oscar nomination and John Goodman is in every 4th movie, so they will be fine. But this was a break for newcomers and we never think about the lighting people, the costumers, craft service, etc. when a show goes down. Surely Roseanne didn’t think about it while she blasted a respected advisor to a functional government.

I am sure the President will have a tweet about this in between afternoon Diet Cokes, so stay tuned.

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“Solo: A Star Wars Story” Review

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” provides a fun and unique spin on the legendary smuggler as it emerges as one of the surprise movies of the year…

When “Solo: A Star Wars Story” first announced Alden Ehrenreich as the young casting of the Han Solo, I could not describe the anxiety I felt over this casting. I hated the selection and felt this movie would be doomed from the start, regardless if it was a Star Wars movie. I had questions on the entire cast, and the trailers for the spinoff cast an eerie shadow on the scruffy-headed nerf-herder’s standalone movie.

Well, I’m delighted to report that all my fears were quelled after walking out of this movie. Solo provides a movie that is genuinely fun to watch from start to finish.

Ehrenreich proves to be one of the strongest points of the entire movie with his representation of a young Han Solo. The pressure of portraying the fan-favorite character never weighed down Ehrenreich’s performance. He takes on the character of Solo and makes it his own, while still offering glimpses that remind us of Han from the original trilogy. His relationship with Chewbacca is enjoyable to watch develop through the course of this movie, and the legendary bromance receives a plethora of fan service.

The only downside to Ehrenreich’s Solo is that there is no arc for the character to develop on. The story leads Solo to be basically the same person that started the movie, minus a few things he learned from smugglers over the course of the movie. This isn’t Ehrenreich’s fault, as this is a writing issue more than anything. Still, this is a fun and fresh take on Han Solo that will be enjoyed by Star Wars enthusiasts everywhere.

Now, even though Ehrenreich steals the show (as he should), the supporting cast is no slouch, neither. Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and Emily Clarke as Qira provide life to quality characters in this movie. They help add value and incentive as to show why Solo has the motivations that he does. Woody Harrelson also provides a good role as Beckett, the mentor to Solo in the movie. His introduction to the story and connection to Han Solo is a tad rushed and lacks some depth, but it can be overlooked as the story fleshes the relationship out over the course of the movie. Paul Bettany serves as a decent villain with Dryden Vos but the character himself is mainly a driving point to give motivation to the protagonists. There isn’t a ton of depth to his character.

After these major characters, the rest of the cast suffers from underwhelming story arcs and purposes. Thandie Newton as Val and Jon Favreau as Rio serve as Beckett’s co-smugglers, while Phoebe Waller-Bridge as L3-37 provides the constant droid presence that is a commonality in Star Wars movies. L3 will be a mixed bag for some fans in what has been an incredible lineup of droids over the span of all Star Wars movies. Ultimately, I didn’t care much for any of these characters, and this was due to a lack of fleshing out in writing.

The characters provide unique additions to the universe, but the writing ultimately fails to support any of these characters as they all underwhelm in the film. In addition, the tone of the movies causes confusion amongst some of these characters in certain scenes. One scene started a common Star Wars joke with a character and led the crowd to believe it was a light-hearted moment every time this topic came up, only to immediately change direction with a traumatic moment in the film on the same idea. Some may like the twist, but I was ultimately not a fan.

The film offers plenty of fan service to Star Wars junkies. There are still plenty of twists that make the movie enjoyable, in addition to one massive plot twist that had my entire theatre gasping and squealing upon unveiling. The writing lets your mind wander down one path only to psych you out on another twist. The story doesn’t end as you’d think, which keeps the movie refreshing and enjoyable to put a twist on what was expected.

The movie ultimately exceeds expectations and vaults it’s way towards one of my favorite Star Wars movies. If you’re a Star Wars fan, see this movie sooner rather than later, as the massive plot twist in the movie will eventually be leaked online.

Wait, why am I saying for just Star Wars fans only? You should just go see this movie, period.

Still the King of Late Night

If you are like me, you spent a great deal of time watching the legend David Letterman in the late evening/early morning sharing the absurdities of the world like Stupid Human Tricks and introducing us to characters like Larry Bud Melman or Rupert Jee. Dave retired from the grind of five weekly shows in 2015. He grew a tremendous beard, began to really speak his mind about politics (I’m talking about you President Trump), and like most people in the entertainment industry, signed a deal with Netflix.

So far he has delivered five episodes of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with for Netflix with President Obama, George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, Jay-Z and Tina Fey. They are wonderful long form conversations with interesting people. The guests are not there looking to plug their new film, tv show or album. They are there to converse with Dave. When he wanted to, Dave was an engaging host who occasionally irritated his guests by asking uncomfortable questions, (Oprah?) and this format flows well.  One of my favorite interviews of all time is when he had the late Richard Harris on, telling stories of drunken ribaldry with Peter O’Toole. Dave introduced his guest, set them up and knew when to stay out of the way. He is unleashed by the tethers of CBS and mainstream media and his closer to a curmudgeon version of the guy we remember from 30+ years ago.

Early in his career he gave a tremendous opportunities for people to build their celebrity. His platform helped launch the careers of Andy Kaufman, Howard Stern and some real estate guy in New York. Dave’s next episode of MNGNNI will feature a conversation with Stern and the early internet buzz says the Tweeter in Chief will be a highpoint of conversation. This should be a free flowing conversation that will not disappoint.

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Howard and Dave have always been a great duo, but knowing they plan to dissect their connected history with the President of the United States has me captivated. It is easily the most important coming to Netflix next week. Even more than this….

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James Mangold Set to Direct Boba Fett Spinoff

Logan, Walk the Line Director has been selected to write and direct the upcoming standalone ‘Star Wars’ movie about everyone’s favorite bounty hunter…

After being rumored for what has felt like 5 years, we are finally getting confirmation of another ‘Star Wars’ spinoff on the mysterious bounty hunter that has captivated fans everywhere. How could it get any better?

Here ya go; How about if the dude who directed Logan was hired to run this movie? Sounds pretty friggin’ awesome if you ask me.

Well, it seems we’re getting just that.

The Hollywood Reporter released news about 2 hours ago that the Boba Fett standalone movie will be headed by James Mangold, the director of Logan. This news comes hours ahead of the release of “Solo: A Star Wars Story”. Mangold will be responsible for writing and directing this standalone ‘Star Wars’ spinoff.

This Mangold hire sounds incredible for the ‘Star Wars’ universe. Mangold’s usual dark outlook on a movie universe is an excellent fit for Boba Fett’s character. To provide perspective on Mangold’s experience, just to look back on some of Mangold’s history: Logan happened to be one of my best movies of 2017 and easily one of my most favorite superhero movies of all-time, Walk the Line was an engaging film on the life of Johnny Cash from Mangold, and 3:10 to Yuma is an incredible western movie that I thoroughly enjoy every time it comes on.

The list goes on and on with Mangold and his movie successes. Just imagine Mangold’s film direction with a Star Wars budget. Sounds like a recipe for success to me.

It seems like everyone’s favorite Mandalorian is in good hands for his standalone premier. I, for one, cannot wait to discover more about this movie. Perhaps we can finally get some closure on how Boba Fett escaped that Sarlacc Pit.

What say you? Does this recently confirmed Boba Fett spinoff get you excited? Sound off in the comments section!

Netflix is now “more valuable” than Disney.

Thats a wild sentence to read in the headline huh? What an accomplishment for Reed Hastings and Netflix.

It’s stock today rose to $349.29 per share with a market cap of $161 billion, while Disney took a small hit and fell to $102.11 per share, with a market cap of $152 billion. Thats an insane amount of money for both of these media empires.

Netflix consistently churns out quality originals, and supplements them with a good assortment of movies and TV shows from the past to keep people entertained. They’re set to put out more than 800 pieces of original content in 2018, and have an ever expanding library of outstanding standup specials (my most recent addiction). It makes sense, but will it last?

Disney is still set to release their own streaming service at some point in the near future, or potentially focusing on Hulu, where they will be majority owners if their purchase of 21st Century Fox goes through. That means all of their content will leave Netflix (after the contract is up) and migrate to a new platform. I hope they expand their lineup of streamable movies as well, and reach deep into their backlogs ( Really I just want to be able to watch Robin Hood.)

I would also assume that ESPN (who’s parent company is Disney) would have their content placed on Disney’s service, meaning all of the 30-for-30 content that they have produced. That even further increases the value of said service, and I would assume at its launch would bump Disneys stock up and make them the top dog again.

For now though, Netflix is King.

https://giphy.com/embed/rVZEejvVWEbugvia GIPHY

The Battlefield V Reveal Event answered some key questions that have been circulating, especially regarding to Battle Royale Rumors

The Reveal event for Battlefield V was today, and with it we have learned a lot more about DICE’s upcoming shooter. The trailer shows *game-play* though i’m very skeptical about it actually being game-play, and not just a cinematic put together with the UI over the top of it. The full trailer is at the bottom of the page!

Setting:

Battlefield V will be set in World War Two as had been previously rumored. The trailer shows many WWII Era weapons and vehicles in-between moments of being a cluttered mess.

Single Player Campaign:

DICE is opting to return to their “War-Stories” that first appeared in their WWI shooter Battlefield 1. The Stories in BF1 were short vignettes of soldiers in different theatres of war. During the event it was said the Stories in Battlefield V would be smaller stories from Theater’s of War that are rarely explored in World War 2 Games.

Premium Pass:

Battlefield V will not have a Premium Pass this time around, meaning that all post release content will be free to all players. The game will include micro-transactions, though it is said they will be purely cosmetic. There is a heavy amount of different customizations shown in the reveal trailer, suggesting you will be able to customize your character in a variety of ways

Battle Royale and New Game Modes:

DICE will not be hopping on the Battle Royale craze, well atleast not entirely. Instead, the Operations game mode has been expanded and will feature an extra sudden-death round named “Last Stand.”

The game will also include a four-player co-op mode called “Combined Arms.” The mode sees a team of four paratroopers. The job of the players is to go behind enemy lines undetected and complete objectives. These missions are supposedly dynamic, and will feature risk-reward aspects allowing the players to decide when to extract, or to risk it for more loot. It was described as a way to “learn the ropes” for those new to Battlefield.

That’s it for the Battlefield V Round-Up. Let us know if your excited about the additions, and what you think of the addition of a Co-Op mode on all of our social media, or by commenting below!

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Battlefield V Reveal Event Roundup: Release Date, Trailer, Changes to Premium, Battle Royale

Will There Ever Be a Star Wars Movie That Surpasses The Original Trilogy?

Lets get right into it.

No.

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No, I don’t think there will ever be a Star Wars Movie that surpasses the original trilogy, and especially not the Empire Strikes Back. Now don’t get bent out of shape over this, because I think you’re going to agree with me by the end of this post.

There will never be a moment more important to my love of Star Wars and subsequently Pop-Culture, than seeing The Original Trilogy (again specifically Empire) for the first time. No I didn’t see it in Theatres (that would be Louie’s department), but sitting right up in front of the television screen in the living room of my childhood home and watching Star Wars for the first time was such an important moment for me, that I don’t think it can ever be topped.

That being said, I love The Last Jedi, and am extremely excited to go watch Solo in a matter of hours at this point. Lets not act like Rey and Kylo’s fight against the Praetorian guards wasn’t the most well choreographed fight in the history of the franchise, and one of the best in movies period.

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Rogue One was also an outstanding movie that set up the fact that Star Wars could be more than just the classic Star Wars story. It could be a War Movie full of sacrifice and large amounts of death, including all of its main characters. The changes to the classic Star Wars Story that were pushed by Rogue One and The Last Jedi are absolutely necessary to keeping the franchise fresh.

Once we get over the fact that there might not ever be a Star Wars movie that meets the experience of seeing the series for the first time as a child (and that there will probably never be a movie worse than Attack of the Clones) we will all finally be able to look at these movies for what they are, great movies in our favorite franchise. Empire Feature Image.jpeg

P.S.

If this single image doesn’t make you excited to see it in action, you might actually be a crazy person:

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